'Nathanaelle Herbelin's quiet figurative work has been stirring tastemakers in Paris and beyond.' recently stated artnet news.
Whether her subject is a portrait, an interior or a landscape, a distinct sense of place permeates Herbelin’s work, which may be in part due to her habitation of two worlds. Born to French and Israeli parents, the artist grew up in Israel and now divides her time between there and France.
Herbelin has spent an extensive amount of time in the Israeli deserts, first during her obligatory military service in the Israeli army, as a tour guide at the education unit, and then later on extended excursions of her own. She has witnessed the ever-changing landscape carved continuously by the hands of both nature and man. This tenuous stability of place is present in the work.
Her work has been exhibited at Mendes Wood Gallery (Brussels, 2022), Bétonsalon (Paris, 2019), Gallery Emmanuel Barbault (New York, 2019), In Box (Brussels, 2018), the Collection Lambert (Avignon, 2017) and at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard (Paris, 2017 and 2022). She recently did a residency with Michael Werner Gallery in New York.
Her Hayom objects:
A challah cover:
Because the challah cover is supposed to remind us of the layer of dew that enclosed the manna and kept it fresh during the Exodus, Nathanaelle Herbelin made rain drops to protect the holy loafs of bread. The painter worked with various pigments of blue to dye each drop one by one before assembling them together.
She was especially amused by another story behind this beautiful tradition: The challah is covered in order to not be “shamed” by the fact that the wine is drunk before the bread is eaten during the Shabbat service.
Hand-washing vessels in collaboration with Margaux Derhy:
For painters, hands are sacred. They are the main creation tools. That’s one of the reasons Paris-based painters Nathanaelle Herbelin and Margaux Derhy were inspired by the Jewish tradition of Netilat Yadayim that calls for the washing of hands every morning as a reminder to use them for holy purposes. For Hayom, the two friends and artists have chosen to link the action of washing the hands to the world of the sea, by referring their water vessels to both seagulls and shells.